I am happy to report that the first week-end of the new year found Sidmouth golf course open for business; at least, 16 out of the 18 holes were available - the ninth and 10th fairways being still under repair from recent flood damage, writes George Carr.

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The Sunday competition this week was an individual Stableford played in threes. For the un-initiated, Stableford scoring gives the player two points for each hole completed in par, one point for a bogey (one more than par) and three points for a birdie (one less than par) when all handicap shots are taken in to account.

The name of this week’s winner will be familiar to regular readers. Simon Knowles, playing off a handicap of 23 registered 38 points over the 16 holes, this score being six better than par to give him first place and a voucher worth £67.50.

In second place, only one point behind the winner came Lester Willmington with a very sound 37 points, (£40.50) while another long handicapper, Paul Shoobridge, was close behind on 36 points worth £27 - no doubt all three will have time to adjust their tax returns

A regular Sunday morning player, winner Simon Knowles, I know, is anxious to be playing off a more suitable handicap (aren’t we all?) but the fact that only 16 holes were in play this week makes this a non-qualifier and so he may escape the axe once more. This win, the second of the winter for Simon, added to a second place, leaves him seven points clear in the winter league on 29 points. In second place in that league is Paul Shoobridge with 22 points. Moray Bosence, with 19 points in third will no doubt soon be making his presence felt. Lester Willmington’s second place this Sunday moves him up to fourth place in the league - well done to you all.

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